A classic British dessert, unapologetically sweet treacle tart dates back to the 19th Century. While the earliest known recipe for the dish is featured in English author Mary Jewry’s 1879 cookbook, the dessert had few similarities to the recipe that’s known and loved today. Instead, the modern treacle tart came into existence during the 1880s, soon after the invention of golden syrup.
Although having spent much of his career in Jersey, Channel Islands, Shaun Rankin returned to his home in 2019, to open Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall in Ripon, Yorkshire. Following months of forced closure, the fine dining restaurant received its first Michelin star earlier this year.
Housed in a Grade II listed Palladian mansion, Grantley Hall is synonymous with its environment, championing Yorkshire produce, with Rankin’s menu centring around locally grown and sourced ingredients, including many from the hotel’s own Kitchen Garden. As for the food, the chef’s signature tasting menu, A Taste of Home, takes inspiration from his formative years spent growing up in Yorkshire. Dishes use simple, high quality ingredients and are given an elevated touch to suit the restaurant’s setting, including the likes of bread, butter, dripping, beef tea; or Lanark blue cheese with Harrogate sticky bun.
Similarly, Rankin’s treacle tart recipe produces a refined riff on the classic, but doesn’t stray too far from the traditional blueprint. Instead each element is subtly elevated to produce something worthy of being served in a high end restaurant. Ground almonds are blitzed into the shortcrust pastry, and brown breadcrumbs are used in the filling, joined by cream and eggs which provide a softer filling with a more luxurious mouthfeel. Clotted cream is used as a serving accompaniment, also joined by the addition of raspberries dressed with lemon juice and a crack of black pepper.
- Pastry brush
- Baking beans or dry rice
- Oven-proof cling film
- Tart ring
For the Pastry
- 260 g plain flour
- 100 g icing sugar
- 30 g ground almonds
- 125 g unsalted butter diced
- 3 eggs
- plain flour for dusting
- 1 tsp milk
For the Treacle Tart Filling
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 6 g salt
- 450 g golden syrup
- 120 g brown breadcrumbs
- 250 g raspberries
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- Black pepper
- 225 g clotted cream
- Start by making the pastry. Put the flour, sugar, almonds and butter in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, mix together into a crumb consistency. Add 2 of the eggs and mix well.
- Cover and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas mark 4.
- Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the pastry to about 2mm thick.
- Line the tart ring with the pastry, letting it hang over the sides. Cover with oven-proof cling film and fill the tart base with dry rice or baking beans.
- Bake blind for about 20 minutes or until the case is cooked through and lightly golden. Remove from oven and lift off the rice or baking beans and the cling film.
- Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, egg wash the tart well and return to the oven for a further 3 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC/Gas mark 3.
- For the filling, melt the butter in a saucepan until it starts to foam and turn brown, then take off the heat. Pour the butter through a sieve to remove the sediment.
- Mix the egg, egg yolk, cream and salt in a bowl.
- In a saucepan heat the golden syrup gently for a few minutes until hot.
- Add the brown butter and mix well until it goes cloudy. Then add the cream mixture and the breadcrumbs. Mix well then pour the mixture into the cooked tart base.
- Cook in the oven for 25 minutes then reduce the temperature to 140ºC/Gas mark 1 and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool, so the top is chewy and the middle is be soft and moist with the pastry nice and crunchy.
- When you are ready to serve your treacle tart, put the raspberries into a bowl and add the lemon juice and icing sugar. Mix well and finish with pepper to taste.
- Cut the tart into portions, scatter with the dressed raspberries and serve with a scoop of the clotted cream